Groundcherry and Goldenberry Project

Welcome to the Groundcherry and Goldenberry Project!

“The Physalis Improvement Project”

The genus Physalis is part of the Solanaceae family (also home to the well-known tomato and potato) and is home to the edible species of peruviana and pruinosa. These species are commonly referred to as groundcherry and goldenberry as well as many other regional names. Plants produce small edible fruits that range from sweet to tart with a variety of unique flavors. This project aims to further explore the cultivation of peruviana and pruinosa in New York state and gauge potential for local food systems. The Physalis Improvement Project is led by the Van Eck research group and is made possible through funding from The Triad and National Science Foundations.

Project Goals

  • Gather information from stakeholders involved in the production and consumption of Physalis
  • Use information gathered for crop improvement
  • Heighten the visibility of Physalis as a specialty crop in New York State

Meet the Project Team

Pictured: Nathan Reem, Esperanza Shenstone, Kerry Swartwood, Joyce Van Eck

The Physalis Improvement Project is led by members of the Van Eck reseach group at BTI.

Summer Project Intern

My name is Kyle Keating and I come from a town called Centereach in the middle of Long Island, New York. Earlier in life I always knew I wanted to work with plants. I started my botanical education with the Master Gardener program through Cornell Cooperative Extension. When I finished the program, I knew I had to take my knowledge and abilities to the next level. That’s when I applied to the plant science program at SUNY Cobleskill. It was there I enhanced my skills and became interested in the field of plant breeding. Now, after almost 4 years at SUNY Cobleskill, I’ve been accepted as an intern at Boyce Thompson Institute where I am learning applicable lab and research techniques as part of the Physalis project.

Where are Our Growers?

Grower Resources

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July Farm Visits

The second half of July has been busy with farm visits and other activities related to Groundcherry and Goldenberry Project. Ithaca Children's Garden One of our community project participants is the Ithaca Children's Garden, where they have been growing six types of...

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Farm Visits

With the growing season in full swing we are starting to visit project participant farms to see how the Physalis plants perform in different environments and any challenges that may come with growing Physalis. This past Tuesday we visited a plot of Physalis plans in...

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Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14853